Casa Santa Teresa — Corsica, France

Casa Santa Teresa — Corsica, France

The newly minted Casa Santa Teresa is a case study of the transformative power of sensitive design. Set in an awkward triangular plot, the 1950s family home on Ajaccio’s cours Lucien Bonaparte had been abandoned for decades, but the allure of its fabulous beach frontage never dimmed.

For Aix-en-Provence-based architect, Amelia Tavella, the four-storey home – now reopened as a vacation villa – was an opportunity to fully open up the interiors, drawing the eye ever outwards toward the sun dappled terraces where al fresco dining tables and lounges lead down to the bijou five-metre-long saltwater plunge pool and, steps away, the Ajaccio Gulf and, beyond that, the Mediterranean.

Each of the five bedrooms and the spacious living spaces (including a library and games room) features a soothing palette of chestnut, lime plaster, cane, local stone, rope railings, and decorative concrete – the rough tactility of the whole rendered especially attractive in the late afternoon when the sun streams in through the wide pivot doors and interior shutters.

Should restlessness impinge, there are any number of natural diversions, not least swimming off the Capo di Feno beach, scenic jaunts along the nearby Chemin des Crêtes and Chemin des Douaniers, or, for the more indolent, a visit to the market in Ajaccio town. § 

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